Tagged: Vidal Nuno

The Yankees have acquired Brandon McCarthy for Vidal Nuno

Here is Brandon McCarthy pitching for the Diamondbacks.

Here is Brandon McCarthy pitching for the Diamondbacks.

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Yankees have acquired Brandon McCarthy from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Vidal Nuno. Buster Olney said that McCarthy is owed about 4.8 million for the rest of the season, plus a $1 million assignment bonus. The Diamondbacks will pay more than $1 million of that. Arizona will be able to save money because Nuno makes much less than McCarthy.

McCarthy and Nuno have both struggled this season, as they have a 5.01 ERA and 5.42 ERA, respectively, but McCarthy should definitely be an upgrade over Nuno. McCarthy has pitched better recently after allowing two runs in 5.2 innings in his previous start and one run in 7.0 innings in his start on June 27.

One of the advantages of having McCarthy over Nuno will be that McCarthy will be able to give the team length in games that Nuno was not able to do. McCarthy has pitched 6 innings or more in 12 of his 18 starts, but Nuno his pitched 6 innings or more in only five of his 14 starts this season. Nuno, the rookie who was pitching in the Independent Frontier League before the Yankees signed him, allowed 12 runs combined between his starts on June 15 and June 21.

McCarthy, who is in his ninth season, has previously pitched for the Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics and the Diamondbacks. He had by far his best two seasons from 2011-2012 while pitching for the Athletics. In 2011, he had a 3.32 ERA and a career-high 123 strikeouts. In 2012, his 3.24 ERA was the lowest of his career.

The veteran righty from Glendale, California, who has a 4.21 ERA for his career should be a major improvement over Nuno. He will be able to help the Yankees in their quest to make the postseason after not qualifying in 2013 better than Nuno would have. The Yankees are currently 3 1/2 games behind the Baltimore Orioles for first place in the AL East and 4.5 games out of the second Wild Card.

The Yankees needed to add a pitcher to improve their rotation, and they were able to do that without giving up one of their better prospects. They could still look to bring back former Yankees Bartolo Colon or Ian Kennedy, who would both be improvements over Chase Whitley.


In other player news, the Yankees have designated Alfonso Soriano for assignment. He gave the team a lot of power after being acquired from the Cubs last July (17 homers in 58 games), but Soriano has only hit .221 in 2014. He also repeatedly did not come through with runners in scoring position. Soriano will likely have a team gamble on him finding his swing, but the Yankees could not wait any longer for him, especially since they have been struggling to score.

Nuno, Teixeira and Johnson led the Yankees to a 6-0 win over the Red Sox

Kelly Johnson

Kelly Johnson

The Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 6-0 at Yankee Stadium on Friday night for their second win in a row. This is the second time in their last 20 seasons that the Yankees have won six of their first eight games against the Red Sox. The first time was in 2012.

In the past three games, the offense had an impressive .284 average and six homers. Kelly Johnson had a .333 average and one homer in the past three games. The Yankees were led offensively in Friday’s game by Johnson’s two RBIs and Brian McCann’s two RBIs.

Vidal Nuno had his best start of his up and down campaign. He only allowed two hits and struck out five in his 5.2 innings pitched after allowing four and eight runs in his last two starts. He picked up his first win at Yankee Stadium in his 16th start of his career.

Nuno lowered his ERA from 5.88 to 5.42 as a result of getting his pitches to go exactly where he wanted them to and having his fastball average at least 90 MPH for the first time in his short career.

“He located the ball extremely well tonight,” Girardi said. “He bounced back. That is what you need guys to do. He fights. He goes out and competes. You know that he is not going go be intimidated by the situation and he gives you all he had.” Nuno said that he tried to get quick outs and help the team win.

Derek Jeter, who turned 40 on Thursday, had two hits and a run scored by the end of the third inning. He hit his 3,390th hit of his Hall of Fame career in the third inning and scored his 1,903rd run in the first inning after Mark Teixeira hit a sacrifice fly.

It appeared that the Yankees would score at least a run in the third inning, but Red Sox starter Brandon Workman got Teixeira and Carlos Beltran out with the bases loaded. Luckily, the missed opportunity did not end up hurting the Yankees in this game.

In the fourth inning, Kelly Johnson hit his two-run homer to deep right center to drive in McCann to make the score 3-0. Brett Gardner made it back-to-back homers as he hit a homer to right for his seventh of the season. Gardner hit eight homers all of last season. The last time that the Yankees hit back-to-back homers was back on May 2 against the Tampa Bay Rays.

McCann, who was brought in to drive in runs and hit homers while taking advantage of the short porch in right, is starting to show more of his power. He gave the Yankees two insurance runs in the eighth inning as he hit a long two-run homer into the upper deck in right. Teixeira, who was one of three Yankees to have two hits, scored on McCann’s homer.

Dellin Betances came in after Nuno was taken out of the game, and he threw 1.1 innings while striking out two, allowing one hit and one walk. He is on track to be the first set up man All-Star on the Yankees since David Robertson in 2011. Betances now has a 1.39 ERA and 74 strikeouts in only 45.1 innings. He has remarkably struck out 43.5 percent of the batters he has faced.

Adam Warren pitched a perfect eighth inning. He was able to strikeout the dangerous David Ortiz with a 95 MPH to end the inning.

The Yankees hit three homers in one game for the first time since May 17. Hitting three homers in a game doesn’t happen all the time, but this could be a sign that the Yankees will start hitting with more power.

Johnson has hit all five of his homers at Yankees Stadium, and he has hit better recently as he has had more playing time with Yangervis Solarte’s struggling. Johnson’s playing more could be beneficial because he definitely has power as a result of slugging 16 homers in each of his past two seasons and a career-high of 26 homers in 2010.

The Yankees are two games behind the first place Toronto Blue Jays. In Saturday’s game at 7:15 p.m., Masahiro Tanaka (11-2, 2.11 ERA) will pitch for the Yankees and Jon Lester (8-7, 3.14 ERA) will get the start for Boston. Tanaka, who is coming off his second loss of his career, will look to get his second win against Boston.


Ineffective starting pitching led to the second consecutive loss for the Yankees

Nuno during his start against the Angels

Nuno during his start against the Angels

After winning four consecutive games, and having a chance to win the series against the Oakland Athletics, the Yankees lost on Saturday and Sunday to drop their record to 35-33. Hiroki Kuroda allowed four earned runs in 4.2 innings on Saturday, and the Athletics scored eight runs in three innings against Vidal Nuno in Sunday’s 10-5 loss to the Athletics.

According to Katie Sharp of ESPN, Nuno is the first Yankee lefty to allow 8+ earned runs in 3 innings pitched or fewer since Andy Pettitte on Sept. 5, 2003 against the Red Sox. Nuno, who only allowed one run in his last start, allowed three-run homers to Derek Norris and Coco Crisp among his eight hits during his regrettable start. His 5.90 ERA could get him sent back to the minors in the next few weeks.

The best starter that the Yankees have at Triple-A Scranton is Joel De La Cruz who has a 4.06 ERA in in 44.1 innings, which means that they should look outside of the organization to improve the rotation. Manny Banuelos, a former top prospect, is currently pitching in Double-A, but he likely wouldn’t be ready until August or September as a result of slow recovery from missing the 2013 season due to Tommy John surgery. They should look to acquire Jason Hammel or Jeff Samardzija via trade from the Chicago Cubs.

Nuno blamed his ineffectiveness on not being able to properly correct his mistakes against the Athletics offense. “It was pretty much just not making adjustments,” Nuno said. “They got some little hits here and there and then it was just one pitch – bang. Those two innings it was frustrating just getting not ahead in the count. They took advantage of it.”

Nuno only threw a first-pitch strike to 10 out of the 18 hitters that he faced, so his assessment that not getting ahead in the count hurt him is correct. Nuno allowed two more runs besides the six runs that scored off of homers in the first two innings, and then Jose Ramirez was charged with Oakland’s ninth and 10th runs in the 4th inning.

The Yankees rallied late in the game, but it is hard to have a chance to win a game when the starting pitcher is charged with eight runs in three innings. Mark Teixeira’s RBI double in the fifth, Carlos Beltran’s solo homer and Ichiro Suzuki’s sac fly in the seventh and Brett Gardner‘s homer to right that scored Yangervis Solarte gave the Yankees five runs to make the score somewhat respectable.

After the game was already decided, Brendan Ryan uncharacteristically made an error in the eighth to allow Craig Gentry to reach first. Ryan is known for being an excellent defensive shortstop, but that was already his third error of this season after only playing in 18 games.

The Yankees didn’t end the road trip through Seattle and Oakland the way they would have wanted to, but 4-2 is a successful six-game west coast road trip. The Yankees’ 6-4 record over their last 10 games is the best in the American League East, which has helped them improve in to a tie with the Baltimore Orioles for second place.

After an off day on Monday, as the Yankees will be flying back to New York City from Oakland, the Yankees will start a series against the first-place Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. Masahiro Tanaka, who will start Tuesday’s series opener, has been by far the team’s best starter and will give them their best chance of getting back in the win column against their division rival.

Chase Whitley’s 7.2 solid innings led to the first three-game sweep of the season for the Yankees

Chase Whitley during spring training

Chase Whitley during spring training

The Yankees just finished a much needed three-game sweep against the Seattle Mariners. The Yankees improved their record to 34-31 and are 3.5 games behind the first place Toronto Blue Jays. The Baltimore Orioles have won two in a row and are tied with the Yankees for second place in the American League East.

On Thursday, the Yankees beat Robinson Cano and the Mariners 6-3 after yet another impressive pitching performance from rookie Chase Whitley. He only allowed two runs in 7.2 innings while not allowing a walk, striking out six batters and throwing 62 of his 82 pitches for strikes. Whitley, who has an excellent change-up, picked up his second consecutive win after four consecutive no decisions after joining the rotation after CC Sabathia’s injury.

Whitley credited outstanding defensive plays in the outfield for part of his success. “They (Mariners) were aggressive,” Whitely said. “They started being aggressive especially later on. What else helped was (Jacoby) Ellsbury making a heck of a catch and Gardy (Brett Gardner) making a heck of a catch.” He said his strikeout in the third was “huge because that was a shutdown inning and my goal is to always make sure that we always shutdown innings. To be able to do that especially in that situation, first and third, to get through that, that was big.”

The Yankees are now 5-1 in games that Whitley has started. Whitley has always put the team in position to win partly because of only allowing three walks in his 33.2 innings pitched. He has not allowed a walk in his past four starts, which usually means that a pitcher will have success. Seattle scored their first run off of Whitley via a homer by Logan Morrison in the 2nd inning and their second off of a James Jones single to center that scored Brad Miller.

Whitley was able to get the win because the Yankees had a 6-2 lead when he left the game. Ellsbury hit a 408-foot homer to right center in the first to drive in Derek Jeter and extend his hitting streak to 16 games. He is now living up to the hefty contract that the Yankees gave him. In the third, Alfonso Soriano’s double to left scored Ellsbury and Jeter, and Jeter’s single in the fourth sent Brian Roberts and John Ryan Murphy home. Jeter, who had three hits, and Murphy, who had two hits, were the two Yankees who had multiple hits, but every player except Roberts, Yangervis Solarte and Gardner had a hit.

Shawn Kelley, who was pitching in his first game since May 6 as a result of a lower-back strain, allowed a run off of two hits in the ninth inning. This led to David Robertson striking out the last two batters of the game for his 16th save of the season.

The Bronx Bombers, who scored more than four runs on Thursday for the first time since May 28, will now play three games in Oakland against the Athletics. The Athletics, who have scored the second most runs in baseball and have a very good pitching staff, currently have the best record in the American League and trail only the San Francisco Giants for the best record in all of baseball.

Here are the pitching match-ups for the series in Oakland:

Friday at 10:05 p.m. EST – David Phelps, (1-4, 4.88 ERA) who allowed seven runs in his last start, will start for the Yanks. The 24-year-old righty Sonny Gray (6-2, 2.83 ERA) will pitch for the Athletics.

Saturday at 10:05 p.m. EST – Two pitchers who have recently been pitching well will face off. It will be Hiroki Kuroda (4-4, 4.12 ERA) vs. Scott Kazmir (7-2, 2.20 ERA).

Sunday at 4:05 p.m. EST – In the series finale it will be Vidal Nuno (1-2, 4.97 ERA, who is from California, pitching against righty Jesse Chavez (5-5, 3.04 ERA).

Monday’s scheduled game against the Royals will now be played on Monday, August 25

Vidal Nuno pitching last season during spring training.

Vidal Nuno pitching last season during spring training.

The series finale that the Yankees were supposed to play in Kansas City against the Royals at 8:10 EST was postponed because of rain. Monday’s game will now be played on Monday, August 25. The rainout will lead to the Yankees returning to Kansas City the day after their series against the Chicago White Sox ends in the Bronx and before they start a three-game series in Detroit.

The Yankees (31-31) had the opportunity to end the series on a positive note with a series split, since a victory would have meant they would have won the first and fourth games of the series, but the Yankees ended up losing two out of three games to the Royals, who are now 31-32. In addition, in their last 10 games the Yankees have only gone 3-7, and have averaged only 2.5 runs in those games. Put in different terms, the Yankees have scored more than four runs only once in their previous 11 games.

With three out of their five starters coming out of spring training currently on the disabled list, it seemed like starting pitching might have been the main issue, but scoring has been by far the major weakness. Brian McCann, Alfonso Soriano, Brian Roberts, and Derek Jeter have all not hit like they are capable of. The Yankees are currently 22nd in all of baseball in runs scored (249), 18th in on-base percentage (.315) and 18th in slugging percentage (.382).

They surely are not living up to their Bronx Bombers nickname right now since Mark Teixeira (10 homers) is the only player who has hit more than seven homers. Brian McCann, Yangervis Solarte and Teixeira are the only players with more than 25 RBIs after 38 percent of the season has gone by. Also, Solarte, who was the last player to make the roster out of spring training and had previously only been in the minor leagues, is leading the team in average (.299), RBIs (28) and on-base percentage (.368).

The AL East has struggled as a whole, as the Baltimore Orioles are in second place with a 32-20 record. The Toronto Blue Jays, who have been the biggest surprise in all of baseball, are in first place with a 39-26 record as a result of the best offense in the league and a pitching staff that has performed much better than expected. The Tampa Bay Rays, who were expected to finish first or second in the division, have the worst record in baseball largely because of injuries and players that have underperformed. Rounding out the division is the Red Sox, who after winning the World Series last season, were due for a regression, and that is exactly what has happened as they have a 28-35 record and are 4-6 in their last 10 games.

The Yankees will now be starting a six-game series on the west coast with three games against the Seattle Mariners (34-29 after winning eight of their past 10 games) and three games against the Oakland Athletics (39-25). Oakland’s record a half-game better than Toronto’s for the best record in the American League. The Mariners and Robinson Cano previously won three games at Yankee Stadium and the Yankees will be facing their former All-Star second baseman for the first time at Safeco Park.

To try and keep pace with the Orioles and Blue Jays, it is important that the Yankees go 3-3 or better on this road trip. The Yankees will be facing five very good pitchers in their next six games including Hisashi Iwakuma, Roenis Elias, Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir and Jesse Chavez, but the offense needs to find a way to take advantage of when the pitchers don’t execute their pitches.

In the first game of the series against the Mariners, at 10:10 PM EST on Tuesday, Vidal Nuno will pitch for the Yankees and Iwakuma will pitch for the Mariners. Nuno, who has a 5.33 ERA on the season while relying on off-speed pitches, allowed two runs in 4.2 innings pitched in his last start while not being able to keep his pitch count down. In three previous starts against the Yankees, Iwakuma has one win and a 3.18 ERA.

In Game Two, Masahiro Tanaka (9-1) will pitch for the Yankees and the 6-10 righty Chris Young will start for the Mariners. In Game Three, Chase Whitley, who impressively has a 2.42 ERA in five starts, will try to win his second game as a Yankee. Elias, the rookie from Cuba, will pitch for Seattle.

The Yankees will look to win a game against the starter who has the worst ERA in the AL

Vidal Nuno in spring training.

Vidal Nuno in spring training.

The Yankees lost to the Minnesota Twins 6-1 on Friday night at Yankee Stadium. They were facing Ricky Nolasco, who had the second worst ERA of all starting pitchers in the American League coming into the game.

Vidal Nuno allowed four runs in 6.2 innings and all four of those runs came off of home runs. Against Nuno, Oswaldo Arcia and Josh Willingham hit solo homers and Trevor Plouffe hit a two-run homer that drove in Arcia. In the eighth inning, Preston Claiborne wasn’t much better as he gave up RBI singles to catcher Kurt Suzuki and former Yankee Eduardo Nunez.

Nunez, who was mostly unreliable with his defense in his four seasons playing for the Yankees, has a .256 average in 43 at-bats this season. He continued his trend of having his helmet fall off while running the bases during Friday’s game.

Nuno has pitched much better on the road this season than in the Bronx. In his three away starts he has allowed a combined four earned runs, after allowing zero in his start at Tampa Bay, one against the Angels in Anaheim and three in Chicago against the White Sox. However, in his five starts at Yankee Stadium, he has allowed four runs or more in all but two starts.

The Yankees scored their only run in the third inning. Jacoby Ellsbury, who is hitting .333 with seven RBIs in the last seven days, hit a double to drive in Brett Gardner. Ellsbury, who is leading the team in steals with 14, also has three steals in the last four games.

In today’s game at 1:05 p.m. Masahiro Tanaka will face Kevin Correia. Tanaka is tied for third in the AL win wins with seven and leads the AL with his 2.29 ERA, but Korreia had the worst ERA of all American League starting pitchers entering the game. The Yankees have the overwhelming pitching edge in this game as it seems like Tanaka will be an All-Star in his first season since coming over from Japan.

It is important that the Yankees get this win in order to close out May on a positive note. In tomorrow’s game they will be facing Phil Hughes for the first time. The Yankees will have the advantage in that game as well since Hughes had a 5.35 ERA in his last three seasons at Yankee Stadium.

David Robertson and Jacoby Ellsbury were key in the win over the White Sox

David Robertson

David Robertson

After blowing his first save of the season in last night’s 6-5 loss to the White Sox, David Robertson rebounded with three strikeouts in the 10th inning to record his tenth save of the campaign. If the Yankees win tomorrow’s game they will have split their six games in Chicago against the Cubs and White Sox.

The Yankees won their first game at U.S. Cellular Field since August of 2011. They previously had an 8-game losing streak on Chicago’s south side. They were able to win this game in extra innings as a result of collecting only three hits through eight innings and then scoring four runs off of five hits in the ninth and 10th innings combined.

Joe Girardi had no worries about how Robertson would respond coming into the game based on his performance during Friday night’s game. “I am not concerned about him,” Girardi said. “I know he is a very good pitcher.”

Vidal Nuno gave the Yankees seven solid innings while allowing all three of his runs in the first inning. He allowed nine hits, one walk and five strikeouts. Nuno rebounded well from his shaky first inning and pitched seven innings for the first time in his career.

Nuno, who was pitching in the independent Frontier League before the Yankees signed him in 2011, allowed the three runs in the first off of an RBI double by Dayan Viciedo, a sacrifice fly to center by Adam Dunn and a groundout to Derek Jeter by Alexei Ramirez. Location is key for him and he was able to throw his pitches where he wanted to after the first inning. It was key that he was able to throw a career-high 101 pitches in this start because it gave the bullpen a break.

After the game Vidal Nuno emphasized that: “making quality pitches is my main concern.”

Dellin Betances came in for the ninth inning and ended up with his third win of the season. He struck out two of the three batters that he faced and managed to throw eight of his 10 pitches for strikes. He has been able to control his slurve and fastball with pinpoint accuracy, which has helped him pile up 49 strikeouts, only allow nine walks and have a very impressive 1.59 ERA.

The Yankees were six for 33 with runners in scoring position coming into the game, but with their clutch hitting in the ninth and tenth innings, they were able to improve on that ineptitude by going three for six Saturday afternoon.

In the ninth, Alfonso Soriano’s ground rule double to right scored Jacoby Ellsbury for their first run of the game. Then Yangervis Solarte‘s single sent Soriano home. That was Solarte’s team leading 25th RBI of the season. To tie the game, Brian McCann’s single to center scored pinch-runner Kelly Johnson.

In the tenth inning, after Derek Jeter grounded out to second, Ellsbury’s second homer of his season put the Yankees ahead 4-3. The Yankees scored all of their runs in the ninth and tenth innings with two outs. Ellsbury went 2-5, with two runs scored and the homer, after previously having two hits in his previous 22 at-bats, so this could be a sign of him coming out of his slump.

In this game, Jeter moved ahead of Luis Aparicio for second place in the all-time games played list at shortstop. He is now played 2,584 games at the shortstop position, which is second only to Omar Vizquel.

After two close losses, Girardi was happy to get a win, even if it meant going into extra innings. “The way this road trip has went, we will take wins any way we can get them,” Girardi said.

The Yankees will close the series against the White Sox with a 2:10 EST game on Sunday. Masahiro Tanaka, who is coming off of his first loss since the 2012 season in Japan, will pitch for the Bronx Bombers and Andre Bienzo, who is from Brazil, will pitch for the White Sox.

After beating the Cubs in 13 innings, the Yankees will play four games at U.S. Cellular Field

Preston Claiborne pitching last season for the Yankees.

Preston Claiborne pitching last season for the Yankees.

On Wednesday, the Yankees won the second and final game of the series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. After losing the first game 6-1 after Tanaka allowed three earned runs and picked up his first loss since August of 2012, the Yankees won in 13 innings on Thursday as Preston Claiborne picked up the win as he pitched 1.2 scoreless innings and executed a perfect sacrifice bunt in his first MLB at-bat.

After Jeff Samardzija had yet another outstanding start but did not get the win as a result of the Yankees scoring two runs in the ninth to tie the game, Matt Daley, Matt Thornton, Claiborne and David Robertson, who picked up his ninth save in as many chances, combined to only allow two hits in four innings.

Chase Whitley, who was making his second start, held his own once again as he allowed one run in 4.1 innings while striking out three. Dellin Betances came on in relief of him to pitch 1.2 perfect innings and add three more strikeouts. He now has an impressive 45 strikeouts in 26 innings.

In the ninth inning, when the Yankees were losing 2-0, Ichiro Suzuki scored after grounding into a fielder’s choice to the shortstop and then Brendan Ryan scored the tying run after defensive replacement Darwin Barney made an error throwing to first.

The Yankees came through in the clutch off of Cubs closer Hector Rondon. The offense came up big once again in the 13th inning. After Ryan singled to leadoff the inning and Yangervis Solarte walked, Claiborne’s perfectly executed sacrifice bunt in front of the pitcher advanced the runners to second and third with two outs. Ryan, who came into the game in the ninth inning, scored the winning run on a wild pitch by former Yankee Jose Veras, and John Ryan Murphy’s single sent Solarte home from third.

Murphy is now hitting an impressive .406 in 32 at-bats. Solarte, who had two hits in four at-bats and scored that insurance run, improved his average to .317. He is still leading the team in average, on-base percentage (.394), RBI (24) and total bases (70). The Yankees (24-21) would not be in first place in the American League East without Solarte, who had previously spent his career in the minors in both the Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers organizations.

The Yankees will now move onto the south side of Chicago where they will play the White Sox for four games at US Cellular Field. Thursday’s game will be at 8:10 p.m. EST. The White Sox, who have a 23-25 record and have lost three of their past five games, are third in MLB in runs scored, seventh in batting average and seventh in slugging percentage.

However, the White Sox are now without impressive rookie Cuban slugger Jose Abreu, who is out indefinitely with an ankle injury. He was leading the team in homers (15), RBI (42), and runs scored (29). He is also currently leading the AL in homers and RBI. The Yankees are lucky that their depleted pitching staff will not have to face him in this series.

On Thursday night, White Sox ace Chris Sale will make his return from the disabled list. His last start came on April 17 when he allowed one run in seven innings to the Red Sox. Sale had a 1.23 ERA in two starts against the Yankees last season.

For the Yankees, David Phelps will get his third start of the season since Michael Pineda was put on the disabled list. Phelps has allowed one, four and zero earned runs respectively in those three starts. His best start came on May 17 against the Pittsburgh Pirates as he struck out a season-high five batters and walked three in five scoreless innings. He was able to earn his first win of the season.

On Wednesday it was revealed that Pineda, who is on the disabled list as a result of a back strain, is making progress and looked comfortable during a 30-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium. This obviously means that he has not suffered a setback, which is a good sign.

The starting pitcher on Friday for the Yankees will be Hiroki Kuroda (3-3, 4.61 ERA), and the starter for the White Sox will be former Yankee Hector Noesi (0-3, 5.32 ERA). On Saturday, at 2:10 p.m. EST, Vidal Nuno (1-1, 5.82 ERA) will face John Danks (3-4, 5.64 ERA). In the series finale, at 2:10 p.m. EST on the YES Network, Andre Rienzo, who is a rare baseball player from Brazil, will get the start for the White Sox. Masahiro Tanaka (6-1, 2.39 ERA), the rookie sensation from Japan, will look to bounce back from his first loss of the season.

This will be the first series that the Yankees have played against the American League Central this season.

The Yankees split their doubleheader against the Pirates

Vidal Nuno

Vidal Nuno

After winning the first game of the doubleheader 4-3 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Yankees lost their second of two games on Sunday by the score of 5-3. The Yankees are now 0-17 when trailing after seven innings.

The Yankees benched a few of their starters in the second game. “We were a little bit limited there because of what some guys were going through,” Joe Girardi said. “Of course you get greedy when you win the first two games, but we will move on and go to Chicago.”

Vidal Nuno, who replaced Ivan Nova in the rotation, allowed two earned runs (three overall) and struck out five in his six innings pitched. His off-speed pitches kept the Pirates guessing as he only allowed three hits through five innings, but Nuno ran out of gas in the sixth. Andrew McCutchen hit a single and was driven home on Starling Marte’s homer, and then Jody Mercer hit a single to left center.  The Yankees wouldn’t take the lead for the rest of the game.

Gerrit Cole, who was drafted by the Yankees out of high school but decided to go to UCLA, allowed three runs and struck out eight in six innings. However, the bullpen for the Pirates was much better than that of the Yankees since Alfredo Aceves and Matt Thornton combined to allow two runs.

It hurt the Yankees’ chances that they were 1-4 with runners in scoring position, committed two errors and left seven runners on base. Brett Gardner was also picked off of third base by Pirates’ back-up catcher Chris Stewart.

The player of the game was Pirates third baseman/right fielder Josh Harrison as a result of his defense and his power on offense.

In the sixth inning, to tie the score at three, Yangervis Solarte hit a deep homer to the right field bleachers for his fifth homer of the season.

In the seventh, after Harrison hit a solo homer to left for the Pirates to make the score 4-3, Brian Roberts hit a double to deep right to drive Gardner to third. Robby Thompson, the third base coach, decided to leave him at third to be safe. Mark Teixeira was not able to come through in the clutch with two outs as he popped up to the second baseman.

In the bottom of the eighth, Derek Jeter pinch-hit for Kelly Johnson and lead off the inning with a single to center. Harrison made an outstanding diving catch to rob Solarte of at least a double and then Alfonso Soriano (who was pinch hitting) and Ichiro Suzuki both struck out.

Girardi sent in two of his regulars to hit in the ninth, Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann, but neither of them were able to get on base. For the Pirates, Stewart had previously only driven in one run this season, but had two RBIs in this game. He played for the Yankees briefly in 2008 and then again from 2012-2013.

Girardi could not give a definitive answer when he was asked about the return of starter CC Sabathia. “When we get him back, I don’t think any of us really knows,” Sabathia said after the game when asked about CC Sabathia. This is because the procedure that he had to replace the cartilage in his knee is extremely rare. “There are degenerative conditions in his knee,” Brian Cashman said.

The Yankees are in first place by a half-game in the AL East after having won four of their past five games. They will now have a road trip that very rarely happens as they will play their next six games in the city of Chicago. The first two will be at Wrigley Field against the Cubs and the last four will be at U.S. Cellular Field against the White Sox.